Monthly Archives: July 2011

Things I Like About Me

I was challenged by one of my best twitter buddies, Donutsmama, to do this blog hop post.  She did a great job on hers.  So here is mine!
1.  I like that I am doing this even if it is challenging.
2.  I like that I am a compartmentalized perfectionist.  I don’t drive to be perfect in every area of my life (you should see my house) but those areas that truly matter to me, matter.  My walk with the Lord.  My life as a mama and wife.  Getting the words to songs right.  They matter.
3.  I like that I am an extended breastfeeding mama.  My oldest girls are 15 1/2 months apart.  My milk supply really dropped when I was pregnant with Sue, so Caitlyn weaned at 11 months.  That made me very sad.  But we definitely made up for it with Sue, she nursed until she was 28 months and I was several months pregnant with Patrice.
4.  I like that my hair is it’s natural color.  It is kind of a honey blonde.  I am proud that I have never colored it.  I like being able to say this is my true color.
5.  I like that I took up running in my 30s.  Okay, I actually love that!!!
6.  I like that I started writing this blog in February 2010 and I am still doing it even though life has gotten busier and my husband still thinks it is silly.
7.  I like that I am the mama of three little girls.  Years ago, the doctors told me I would probably never have kids due to my Multiple Sclerosis.  Thankfully one doctor thought that was stupid.  He treated the MS aggressively.  The Lord blessed his work.  And I have been in remission for 6 beautiful years.  And here I am with three little girls.

What do you like?  Write your list and link up with us!

Patrice is Mobile for Try Something New Thursday

Miss Patrice is getting around great now.  She crawls on her belly and on her knees.  She pulls herself to a stand and now, thanks to daddy she has wheels!

This week, daddy remembered a toy we had for Sue and Caitlyn; he got it out for Patrice.  She is in love!!!

What has someone in your family tried that is new?  Link up and share!

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Sleep.  It is a precious resource no matter where you are in life, except maybe as a toddler and preschooler, they don’t seem interested in sleep, but that is a whole different story…

Lately, I have been chatting with some friends about sleep and babies.  And I feel for these mamas.  They have been led to feel they are doing something wrong as mothers because their little ones do not sleep through the night.  This, I am here to say, is totally not true.

Babies sleep when they will, how they will.  You know that phrase, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink?  Well, it is the same with babies.  As parents, we can give our children opportunities to sleep, but we cannot actually make them sleep.

When they are ready to sleep they will sleep anywhere.  In their carseat.  All the way through a noisy grocery store.  In their highchair.  In the babywearing wrap.  They will sleep.

All of mine slept really well, very young–for a couple weeks.  And then they were AWAKE!  Our solution?  To follow their lead.  I have to admit, I am a lazy mama.  I am no good at bedtime routines for babies.  I found swaddling to be useless, I didn’t want to train them to need music or a noise machine, so I took the easy way out–I have just let all of them nurse to sleep.  The vast majority of the time I could then transfer them to their cradle or crib to sleep, but often I could not…so then I sinned, yup, we co-sleep with our babies.

And you know what?  We all get sleep.  It is a beautiful thing.  They wake up again, they nurse, then we sleep again.  This has led me to never worry about when will they sleep all the way through the night.  They get to eat, I get to cuddle my baby. 

That is our no-cry sleep solution. 

Everyone should have Someone Multitude Mondays 128-130

Isn’t she beautiful?  Hard to believe we are less than a month from her 1st Birthday!

And she now looks like this.

And as you know the journey of the last 11 months has had it’s ups and downs.  Never because of my girls, never once did I regret any of them, blame any of them or wish life with them were any different.  But it has still been a challenging ride.

As you might remember, part of the ups and downs started at 35 weeks gestation when our baby decided to go breech.  My midwife immediately came up with a plan.  She knows me.  She knows I would go crazy knowing things were out of whack without anything to do about it.  So she sent me to her chiropractor, gave me exercises and lots of hugs.  The next 5 weeks were a crazy topsy turvy experience as baby went breech, not breech.  Breech, not breech.  Over and over.

Through it all I was a nutball of emotions.  So many people encouraged me.  And one that really stuck with me was my midwife.  She sent me encouraging e-mails, answered my pleas for help.  She was a friend.

And with her help, her namesake Patrice came into this world safe and sound.  (not breech)  Her care continued through the postpartum period as it became apparent I needed some help sorting out the hormones and emotions that came after Patrice arrived.  She answered more e-mails than I can count.  Let me cry.  Encouraged me.  Walked every step of the way.  Above and beyond all call of duty.  Her compassionate care and friendship saved my life more than once during the postpartum depression.

She and I continue to communicate via e-mail.  I am so glad to report that I am feeling much better when it comes to my emotions and hormones.  Much better.  But there is one area that still eats at my soul.  I had a partial shot of Nubaine (narcotic painkiller) during Patrice’s birth.  I had planned on a completely unmedicated birth.  But in the end I couldn’t do it.  And this has caused me no end of consternation.  My midwife and I were talking about that today.  And that sweet woman told me to blame her instead of myself.

She is amazing.  She is truly amazing.  I don’t  blame her.  It was my failing.  It was too much for me to handle.  It is no one’s fault but mine, but my heart will forever remember how she was willing to take that burden away from me.

Everyone should have someone like her in their life.  And for her I am thankful.

128.  my midwife, my friend

129.  my Patrice who has learned to crawl on her knees, pull herself to a stand and the ASL sign for more

130.  my girls who still absolutely adore their baby sister

Join me over at A Holy Experience as we count that which we are thankful.

Mama Guilt

Until recently, I worked a split schedule at work.  I did three 10 hour days from the office and two 5 hour days from home.  This allowed me be balance work and mama.  It wasn’t always easy, but it worked and worked well.  Then it had to change, I was needed in the office more. 

I like my job.  And I think I am pretty good at it.  And I will admit it is easier to be all employee and all mom when separating home and office.  But I miss my girls.  It is a physical ache.  And it leaves me feeling like I need to be completely engaged as a mom when I get to be with them.

I have been trying to really be with them, especially when we are in the car heading to daycare.  I want them to know how important they are to me.  So I have been praying with them each morning on our way to the daycare and then listening to them talk and sing. 

My almost 5 year is currently obsessed with I spy with my little eye.  Have you ever noticed how hard that is to play when driving on the expressway?  There is blue for the sky, green for the grass, yellow for the signs, that is about it.  Drives me a little batty.  I told her it is too hard to play on the expressway, so as soon as we exit “mommy, want to play I spy with my little eye.”  And since I want to be engaged, I say yes. 

Well Friday morning, my mind was screaming “NO!!!”  I just wanted to retreat into the music on the radio.  I just wanted to enjoy the silence that comes with not talking, just listening to the radio.  So I told her that today I didn’t really want to play I spy, rather she could tell me a story.  She started to, but then trailed off into silence. 

After a few mintes I turned the radio on softly.  And tried to enjoy it, but instead I felt guilt and sadness.  I had failed my daughter and myself.  I had chosen what I wanted over a few minutes spent with her.  And I have been feeling bad about it ever since.

Now I am left to wonder what to do with this mama guilt, how to balance it all.

How do you balance it?  How do you engage your children?

Summer Fun for this Saturday Snapshots

I have pictures of each of my girls playing with this toy!

Don’t you think she should get an advertising contract?

See what other fun is over at An Ordinary Mom.

Grateful on this 5 Minute Friday

As I mentioned, yesterday was 7 years since my dad died in a car accident.  Even as I type those words, I fight to believe them.  It does not seem like it is possible my strong, healthy, funny dad is gone.  It does not seem possible that he was not at my wedding and has not met any of my children.

I have a lot of regrets over some lost time with my dad.  There was some time after college where we were quite far apart on several issues.  It made conversation hard.  I didn’t know how to work through the issues, so I let the 4 hours that separated us be a safe barrier between us.  I know why, and my reasons were valid, but I regret it, nonetheless.

But this is not about regret, it is about being grateful.  And I am extremely grateful for a conversation I had with my dad exactly 2 weeks before he died.

I had just gotten engaged to the amazing man I now call my hubby.  It was a dream come true.  And we were making the rounds telling people.  I was looking forward to telling my dad.

So I called him one morning on my way to work.  I had gotten up very early and was headed into work about 5:30.  My dad was also an early riser.  Always had been.  I thought he was nuts.  So that Wednesday morning, I called him to tell him just that!  “Dad, I still think your nuts be here I am almost to work too.” 

We talked about the engagement, the beginnings of our wedding plans and a few other things I don’t quite remember.  But what I do remember is that I hung up the phone feeling very healed.  Like things were much better between us

Just two weeks later he was gone, and I was left with my regrets, but also with that one call.  That healing call.  And for that I am eternally grateful.

That is my 5 minutes writing about what I am grateful.  Won’t you join the fun?

The Gypsy Mama hosts this blog party every Friday.  She gives a topic for us to write on for 5 minutes, with no editing and no worrying about perfection.  In return, she asks we link up and comment on the person’s post linked up before us.  It is a great way to cap the busy work week!  Head on over

Hunting and a Rememberance for Try Something New Thursday

At his 40th birthday party, July 1991

My daddy left this world in a car accident 7 years ago today.  I thought about not doing Try Something New Thursday and instead doing a post about my dad like I did last year. But I got to thinking about what my daddy would like.  He wasn’t big into funerals, had actually said many times he didn’t want one (I am so glad we had one for him, it was a chance for so many people to say good bye) and he said we should continue to live our lives.  And we have.  Since he died, I have gotten married and had three little girls.  And we live, we surely do.

The more I thought about it, and the post I was thinking about for today’s Try Something New Thursday, I decided this post was a great way to remember my dad!

Last week, the dog was barking non-stop before us girls left for the day.  I couldn’t get out there, so Caitlyn said she would go yell at him.  She did, he kept barking.  So she said, “I’ll go yell at him louder.”  So she did.  Then a blur came running toward me.  “Mama, there is a aminal out there.  It’s behind the plant daddy got you.  It’s big and fat and brown and it’s going like this ‘tsk, tsk, tsk.”  So I ventured out a little bit.  I heard it’s noise.  That was enough for me.  I went back in the house.  We got ready and left for daycare and work.

I told daddy about it on the phone “I’m guessing it is gone, but could you check before you let the girls outside to play?”  I also gave him Caitlyn’s description.  He and a co-worker spent time that afternoon trying to figure out what it was.  Then daddy and Caitlyn looked on-line at pictures.  We think it was a groundhog, but we don’t know for sure.  But not for lack of trying…

That’s right, for Try Something New Thursday, we put out two live traps, one near where the groundhog was seen and one in the garden.  We haven’t caught anything yet, so maybe the dog scared it away, but just in case, we are prepared!!!

Have you tried something new, or have someone to remember? Link up and share.

Wordless Wednesday Link Up

I am linking up over at

Better in Bulk

With this photo!

Check out others at Better in Bulk.  She has pictures of the two cutest babies (after Patrice of course!) ever!!!


Patrice is starting to talk a little bit.  She says dada.  She likes to say that one and she definitely knows who she means.  She does not say mama.  But when I ask “where’s the mama?”  She buries her head in my chest.  As my grandpa said when I told him, “can you blame her?  She knows where her groceries are!”  True, so true.  She started saying hi today.  She waves and says “haaa.”  It is super cute.  It makes the heart just melt.

We love to hear her words.  In the same vein, we are taught the Lord loves to hear our words. 

“and said, “Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.”  Acts 10:31

But have you wondered if the Lord listens to YOUR prayers?  I have.  There are times I pray and things change.  At those moments I feel confident the Lord has heard me.  Other times, things do not change.  And I wonder.  Maybe not so much if He hears my prayers, but definitely if I am praying the right thing; have I prayed enough; did I use the right words; is the answer no or pray longer; did I hear the Lord right when I felt led to pray in a specific way? 

So many questions.  I wish I knew the answers.  I was raised that we always had to pray, “if it is your will Lord.”  And I agree there are times we are to pray that, but it kind of feels like a cop out, like, if I add that, I won’t be disappointed if the Lord doesn’t answer or that it absolves me from having to hear the Lord about  how to pray, because I added the caveat about His will. Or it gives me permission to give up praying because it must not be His will. 

Do you ever wonder about things like that?  What things in your Christian walk cause you to ask questions?